When we talk community, we are really talking about Spiritual Friendship. Friendship that is more than just a person to drink coffee with or to talk about the Seahawks game with. It is someone who can ‘stab us in the front’ and inquire deeper. It is relationship that we have allowed in order to speak into each others lives.
As we journey in our faith, and as we grow in our knowledge of the grace of Jesus, these kinds of relationships are needed more, not less. You see, God is doing something in you; so that you in turn can pour into others, and why would we not want to experience with someone else what God is doing in and through them. It is the way that we grow, not through isolation but through community and spiritual friendships. This takes more time than an hour and half on a Sunday Morning.
How do we cultivate these Spiritual Friendships outside of Sunday?
1. Right Theology
Maybe you heard someone say, “It’s just me and Jesus and that’s all I need”. That is distorted. The two greatest commandments are to Love God and Love Others. You can’t love the Father and not love His children. God gives us great balance in our lives when we focus on both. It is how we were created to be.
Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a humble heart. We have an arrogance in who we think we can or should befriend. Ask for the humility and the power to love people. This is the soil from which community will grow.
It might not be that we exclude people, it’s just that at times we don’t take the step to include people either. Biblical community involves growing with people who are not like you. Envelope new people into the circle. This takes us out of our comfort zone:excellent. Step out of immaturity and stop defining your growth based solely on what you want, how you think it should look, and who it should be with. Spiritual friendship will be found in people you did not expect. People who are different that God has placed in your life.
The greatest place to cultivate friendships outside of Sunday is your home. Hospitality is a biblical tool that we can all use. Don’t wait until you have the right house or the right furniture or even serve the right food before you invite others to your home. Your home is where you let your guard down, where people see the real you. “Christianity was, and grew because it was, a great family. The name ‘brother’, ‘sister’ came to be the ordinary greeting. Christians found wherever they went, a welcome, and deep hospitality” - Hatch
God help us to think your thoughts and live them out. Holy Spirit humble our hearts. Empower us to include others into our already formed friendship circles. Help us see the purpose beyond the purpose of why you have given us a home, to use it for your kingdom and for inviting others into our lives.
When we take bold steps to get out of our story and into the story of others, it will break isolation and will birth Spiritual Friendships that go way beyond Sunday.